How long to hear back about decision on special issuance?
Answered By AOPA

My AME sent my packet in to the FAA on the first of this month, and I was wondering how long I'd need to wait for the FAA to come to a decision. Is it going to be months like I've seen some people say?

6 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer

Hi Terrence! On average we're seeing about 1-2 months to review first and second class medicals and 3-4 months for third class medicals. It could be longer depending on the condition being reviewed.

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Note that the FAA prioritizes those who need the certificate to work over those who fly only recreationally.  That's why the turnaround is shorter for First/Second than Third.


Depends on what's at stake.  Psychiatry review for example stands a 210 days, currently.

If it's clear cut, as in Cardiologic matters, and you have succesfully filled all the squares, You're looking at 5 weeks from when it appears on their system.


NB:  The midlevels @ FAA are all caught up.  The docs are about 4,000 cases behind. OKC was shutdown  on 10/14 for a software reinstall, and was without power on 10/15, due to thunderstorm damage to the grid.


Thanks for this info, particularly with regards to priority and what is going on in OKC. I was getting pretty frustrated with them. The local FSDO submitted my medical flight test results back in mid August (this is for a FC III) and every time I call, the contractor on the phone just answers with “it is still under review” which isn't much to go off of. So this added context helps.


Thank you for the information -  these posts are helpful in understanding a little of what is going on.


Hey Terrence, I just got my medical third class last week it took 13 months, or a marathon